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Updated: 9 min 39 sec ago

Re: Bought the bike!

31 August 2015 - 12:15pm
Hi Thistle

I'm mostly a road rider, and my Mercian had an expensive repaint (at Mercian) a few years back, so I tend to keep that bike to roads for fear of stone chips. However, I'd ride other, similar bikes on tracks without worrying about it. The frame construction is as strong as anything available, and wheels with 32 or (preferably) 36 spokes are going to stand up to most things.

Where suspension really comes in is in bouncing over boulders and the like, that can knock steering off track or stop you dead. You certainly couldn't do some of the down-hill racing that now goes on using a rigid frame. On the other hand, look at cyclo-cross for an example of racing off road on various terrains - the classic example being the Three Peaks. That branch of the sport does now allow MTBs, but pre-dates them by decades, and serious competitors still choose cyclo-cross designs, which are modified conventional bikes.

Or Paris Roubaix, the classic event in which road bikes are ridden flat out over cobbles that hammer man and machine to pieces. I don't think any photo can do justice to the battering that (most) bikes survive - and these really are lightweight road bikes, with minimal concessions to the surface (wider tyres than normal, and so on). And it's not just professionals, who can get issued with new bikes afterwards - there's an event for amateur riders too.

You'll notice that the one modification that isn't mentioned in that cyclo-cross article is making the bike stronger, because that's simply not necessary. OK, you probably shouldn't take your lightest racing wheels or ultra-light road frame off road, but carbon frames are certainly used now, and we're talking about 531 steel, which will have no problem (boulders and stupidly steep drops excepted).

Remember, when riding on tracks, to use your arms as part of the suspension system. Relax your arms, do not lock them, and let the bike find the way. The top half of your body will then behave as though you're riding the latest hi-tech MTB forks.

Re: Nutrition during P-B-P

31 August 2015 - 10:35am
Paulatic wrote:Its a wee ride happens every four years. Paris-Brest-Paris

http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/index2 ... page=edito

Thank you!

Re: Bought the bike!

31 August 2015 - 10:33am
Thanks Drossall! Did you stick to roads or did you go on paths as well?

Re: garmin map for France

31 August 2015 - 10:29am
Garmin City Navigator is for the whole of Europe these days.
https://buy.garmin.com/en-GB/GB/maps/on ... d6299.html
Not cheap, but it comes on a Micro SD card so you can put it into any Garmin device.

garmin map for France

31 August 2015 - 10:22am

I will be cycling with some friends through France in about 2 1/2 weeks and we are using Garmin sat navs and maps. I don't have a France/Europe card for my 705, I can get one from Garmin (eg. via Amazon) for £30. Ridewithgps do their own but it seems that their cards cover maps across two areas (central and western Europe, so cutting right across France, not good).

Anyone any suggestions for getting maps?



Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

31 August 2015 - 8:18am
Pray you get good weather...And I mean it!!

If you don't...picture of yous drenched and miserable by your tent,please. When I'm trapped in my house and it's rainin...I know I'm better off than yourself!!

Re: Nutrition during P-B-P

31 August 2015 - 8:09am
Its a wee ride happens every four years. Paris-Brest-Paris

http://www.paris-brest-paris.org/index2 ... page=edito

Re: A Sad Day for Google Maps

31 August 2015 - 7:34am
RickH wrote:Whilst searching for a different topic that I'd posted in, I came across this one and thought I would note for anyone suffering slow performance from Google Maps that there is now a switchable ""Lite" version - a little lightning bolt down near the controls at the bottom right of the screen - that may (or may not) help with slow loading, etc.

There are a lot of features missing from the Lite version. IIRC you cannot add way points was the most important. Even the full version of new Google maps has a much lower limit for way points than the "Classic" version had. However, I even found the Lite version, in keeping with pretty much everything that Google puts out these days, to be too slow (a combination of rural broadband, being a long way from Google's servers and older but otherwise perfectly useable computers). Classy GMAP (see link earlier in the thread) is the best Google based alternative I have found.

Re: Nutrition during P-B-P

31 August 2015 - 12:14am
What's PBP?

Re: Nutrition during P-B-P

31 August 2015 - 12:10am
Where available, which was mostly, I had pasta (usually spag bol, very light on the bol), rice pud & fruit salad, yoghurt, maybe croissant or pain au chocolat, orange juice, water, coffee, and a couple of bananas to take away. I had my own stocks of white powder and muesli bars, but I gave up on them after half way.
I ate at all controls, not between, and before & after my 2 6 hour sleeps (Carhaix & Tinteniac), I didn't eat much at the secrets or the final control.
15 proper meals in 3 days, and no weight gain

I avoided baguettes - I've found that too much in the way of abrasive food in a short time can result in a sore mouth.

Re: Romania

30 August 2015 - 10:33pm

I've cycled in NW Romania and stayed in other parts of the country. It's a beautiful country and fantastic to cycle in - I've been there 6 times or so. You have choice from mountainous through to pancake flat! There are OK maps for the more touristy areas but to thread my way through the back lanes I ended up printing off open street map which I've found to be very accurate. I'm not an expert on the country by any means but I would say as a rule of thumb avoid all the roads that start with an 'E..' due to the number of lorries. The other thing I've found is that roads mapped as unsurfaced can be fine for 700x32 (ie my bike), so don't discount them, they might help to avoid main roads as well as getting you into the heart of the country - but that's not always guaranteed of course. Likewise I've gone along roads I thought would be OK but were very poorly maintained.

To get the most out of your journey, I would say plan your route in as much detail as you can - take time to work out the back routes - and be confident of your accommodation options before you go.

Re: Nutrition during P-B-P

30 August 2015 - 9:38pm
Forget the fancy bars, gels and powders*. Just eat normal food at regular intervals and the control points on PBP are perfect for this as they do pasta, rice and breads plus a few sugary things as well. I can also remember diving into bars, cafes and shops for whatever I fancied at the time. FWIW I had one glass of red wine and two pints of lager on my PBP - it's all good!

* I did actually take a tube of Nuun tablets and added one to a bidon of plain water every now and then.

Re: Nutrition during P-B-P

30 August 2015 - 5:17pm
Oh yes, eat and drink plenty before the ride, and get plenty of sleep.

Re: Nutrition during P-B-P

30 August 2015 - 5:17pm
Hmmm. There are probably at least as many approaches as there are cyclists! Two cyclists, three nutrition regimes, as they say

FWIW, on PBP I ate what I fancied at the controls (lots of cold rice pudding, pasta when I spotted it, the obligatory baguettes, croissants and pain-au-chocolat), drank loads of coffee, stopped at a couple of restaurants/patisseries/shops when I fancied something else, such as a gorgeous thin-crust pizza in Brest, yoghurts, ice cream... Barbecued sausages in galettes went down a treat as well.

My only conscious approach was to eat what I fancied, and to carry bits to eat between controls - flapjack (brought from England to save foraging for something on the road) and bananas. I had only water in my bottles.

As you can tell, I prefer proper food, but there are people who suck on gels, add supplements to their bottles etc, and it works for them.

In general, the best approach is to eat what you fancy eating, as there's probably something somewhere telling you what your body needs.

There's no substitute for experience, though - if you've already ridden a few longer rides (generally anything which involves overnighters are where digestive issues come into play, so 400 km+), you'll probably have an idea of what works for you.

If not, get riding, as those rides are your chance to work out an approach which suits you. Best of luck with LEL - it's a well-catered ride, so you'll probably be spoilt for choice...

Re: Scottish weather has me freaked out!

30 August 2015 - 1:35pm
I'm heading up to the Hebrides on Thursday. Outer first, then inner. Hoping for some better weather and I'll be camping all the way!

Re: New Route Planner

30 August 2015 - 12:23pm
Yay - glad it worked! I've sent you a PM about the OSM data.

Coursepoints are added whenever there's a change in the turn-by-turn directions, and at that point (under the M61) I think it's warning that you're just coming into a town. I'll look and see if it's possible to thin them down. cycle.travel is penalising the A road for high motor traffic levels which is why it won't stay on it. I'll investigate whether it's possible to bend OSRM to be a bit smarter, but I don't hold out too much hope - as a long-term todo I'd like to make the turn penalty aware of the type of road it's on (so turning right off a busy road gets a penalty for crossing traffic), but that's not in the OSRM core, and the developers have recently removed the bit of code I was hoping to pervert to do it.

Re: CTC Bike Bag on Ryanair

30 August 2015 - 11:00am
The elastic rope around the bag to give handlers a grip's a good idea++

Re: Rear lights are driving me mad

30 August 2015 - 9:40am
A lot of rear lamps have seatpost mounts which are useless in most circumstances.
I dealt with this by cutting a length of 25mm aluminium tube and mounting it on my seat stay with two rubberised (not plasticised) "P" clips.
The tube is mounted parallel to the seat stay and will accept two seatpost mounted rear lights.

Re: CTC Bike Bag on Ryanair

30 August 2015 - 8:17am
I have flown all over Europe with my bike and Ryanair and have never had any problems so here is my 2 penny worth,

Just because the staff at Ryanair in Stansted are satisfied how you have packed your bike to go to Paris, for example. Dont take it as a gimmie that the Ryanair staff in Paris are also satisfied when you come back. Even if you have packed it exactly the same way. I have always got it on the plane but have had to ask for the manager in the past. There is no uniformitet to ryanairs rules.

I pack my bike in a home made bag made of bright spinnaker material, it is not protective. Before putting it in the bag, I remove the pedals and handlebar. The pedals and handlebar spacers go in my hand luggage. I tape the handlebars to the frame as well as the empty water bottles and I do not deflate the tyres. Nothing else goes in the bag, but I have left empty panniers and empty bar bag attached in the past without problems.

Once the bike is secured in the bag I have a 5mm elastic rope which i wrap around the outside to give the handlers something to get hold of.

It always gets there and has never been damaged. Thats how I do it.

looking for a companion: BURMA/LAOS or BUENOS AIRES/USHUAIA

30 August 2015 - 7:49am
I am looking for a companion for a cycling trip which I am planning to start on the end of November 2015 (20th-25th - its flexible, but dependent on the time when i finish the project I am working on at the moment). I will have about 2 months of free time for travelling.
I have 2 options, depending on finances, air fares and just decision :
1) coming to Bangkok and cycling around Burma and Laos and coming back to Bangkok.
2) coming to Buenos Aires and going down to the South to Ushuaia.
I am looking for a travel companion for this trip. I have no preference regarding male/female, I am just looking for cheerful easy-going person, who love adventures Probably around 30-38 y.o.
I am Ukrianian, but living in Poland, Warsaw. I am 33 y.o and I love adventures. I am a filmmaker.Vegetarian.
I plan this trip like a budget one, as I prefer not to stay in tourist places and hotels when I travel, but find close contacts with local people, stay with them and live like they live. But I like to afford myself comfort once in a while, rather like some extraordinary, not everyday I will not be in a rush, riding 60-70 km/day, exploring off the path places.
I love Asia, especially Nepal. This year I spent quite a lot of time there, I was in the mountains during the Earthquake and stayed in Nepal to help after it.
I am thinking of a long RTW trip after that, to go for travelling for a few years may be....


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